There are several ways learners can gain the qualifications needed to gain places at university or other higher education colleges. For example:
AS and A2 are advanced level exam and coursework based qualifications normally taken in schools. Students need to complete both qualifications to achieve a full qualification (usually over 2 years). GCSE A*-B minimum requirement for entry.
Access courses are suitable for those aged 19 or above (on 31.8.11) returning to study and who wish to gain entry to university or advanced vocational training. They are particularly useful for students without traditional qualifications such as GCSEs who meet the entrance criteria.
BTEC qualifications usually include work related or practical projects and coursework and provide a useful vocational route into higher education or advanced vocational training.